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U.S. troops in Farah Province, where Afghan and NATO forces are battling Taliban militants (AFP) ARGHANDAB, Afghanistan; November 1, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Afghan and NATO-led troops have recaptured a district near Kandahar city recently seized by Taliban fighters, as a separate battle to retake a Taliban-controlled area near the Iran border entered its third day, RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan (RFA) reported today.


Assadullah Khaled, the governor of Afghanistan's southern Kandahar Province, told RFA that Taliban fighters, who had overtaken Arghandab district earlier this week, have been driven out during three days of fighting with Afghan and NATO troops. Khaled said some 50 Taliban fighters had been killed in the operation, which is now focused on tracking down more than 200 Taliban militants who fled the area.


RFA correspondent Javed Ahmad Wafa, who traveled with Khaled to Arghandab, the district's administrative center, and to two nearby villages, said that civilians who had fled the area earlier this week had begun to return home. Wafa added that there have been no reports of fighting in Arghandab since late on October 31.


In the western province of Farah, Afghan police said today that 50 Taliban militants had been killed during a battle close to the border with Iran.


Provincial police spokesman Mohammad Gul Sarjang said an operation by Afghan and NATO-led troops to retake Farah's western-most Ghulistan district is now in its third day. Up to 40 militants reportedly were killed earlier this week when some 300 Taliban fighters launched a coordinated attack on Ghulistan.


Meanwhile, in the eastern province of Nangarhar, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition said today that U.S. and Afghan troops clashed with suspected militants overnight, sparking a gun battle that left three people dead, including two children.

RFE/RL Afghanistan Report


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